Qantas will close its Singapore first class lounge as of Monday April 20 as part of a coronavirus-led realignment of its international network, which will also see the airline axe its Sydney-Singapore-London Airbus A380 flights from the same date.
Instead, Qantas' flagship QF1/QF2 service to London will be re-routed via Perth and become a non-stop Boeing 787-9 to London, running alongside the current QF9/QF10 service to result in two daily Perth-London flights on the red-tailed Dreamliner.
With worldwide travel demand plummeting due to continued spread of Covid-19, Qantas is also axing its daily Melbourne-Singapore Airbus A380 flight, which will move to a smaller Boeing 787-9 from late March and then onto an Airbus A330 as of May 4.
As a result, Qantas is seeing not only fewer passengers flying to Singapore, but none flying through Singapore to London or back.
Combined with the withdrawal of the Airbus A380s, which are the only aircraft in the Qantas fleet to feature first class, Qantas is temporarily pulling down the shutters on its Singapore First Lounge, which opened only in November 2019.
While not restricted to first class flyers – Platinum-grade Qantas Frequent Flyers and their Oneworld Emerald equivalents are also welcomed through the frosted doors – there's now insufficient demand to justify keeping this exclusive lounge open in the short term.
From April 20, all loungeworthy Qantas travellers will be directed to the Qantas Singapore Business Lounge, which has recently been expanded to increase capacity to almost 600 guests.
The Qantas Singapore First Lounge is expected to be closed for an estimated five months through to at least September 2020, or until the A380s resume Singapore-London flights and Qantas believes there is sufficient demand to re-open the lounge.
In the four months since its November 2019 debut the upmarket lounge has quickly become the destination of choice for top-tier frequent flyers on other Oneworld airlines departing from Singapore Changi Terminal 1 such as British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways, although the Gulf carrier has recently opened its own Singapore Premium Lounge in the same terminal.
However, the Qatar Airways lounge admits only business and first class travellers on Oneworld airlines, not top-tier frequent flyers in economy or premium economy; and even for business class passengers, the lounge's restricted opening hours make it unavailable for the transit stopover of BA16 and the evening departures of JAL and Finnair.